Monday, August 30, 2049
Nigerians all over the world were on Saturday glued to their television sets as they watched the contest for the next host of the Olympic Games. At the end of four rounds of voting, Jos City emerged as the host city of the 2056 Olympic Games.
It was indeed a sweet victory for the nation which only some decades ago was always in the news for stories relating to violence, instability and terrorism. Jos, in particular, was one of the cities that felt the dark days of Nigeria’s insurgency and religious crisis the most.
The International Olympics Committee (IOC) procedure is such that contesting cities are first assessed based on transportation efficiency, security, and adherence to human right laws, among others. After this, the IOC selects four finalists. In this case, Istanbul, Jos, Moscow and Singapore emerged as the finalists.
Finally, the 105 IOC voting members would cast their votes in a secret ballot, and the city that gets a majority vote emerges as the winner. If none has a majority vote, the city with the lowest vote is eliminated and voting continues, until one emerges with a majority vote.
The first round of voting saw Moscow eliminated. At the second round, Jos emerged winner with a majority vote of 65 against Istanbul (18) and Singapore (22).
Endorsing Jos to host the 2056 Olympic Games were Grammy award winner, Adah Obikwe; three times and current world best player, Musa Danbaki; football legends, Lionel Messi and Kelechi Ihenacho; among others.
Unlike many host cities in the past that recorded losses after the Olympics, experts have opined that Jos City, and indeed Nigeria, will profit immensely from the host – because of plans put in place to make the best of the facilities after the games are over. Part of the plan is to later convert the games village into a housing scheme and a city mall. Likewise, the expansion of the stadia are done with future contraction in mind – in order to make continuous maintenance easy and economically viable. The transportation system of Jos would be transformed and be put to adequate and profitable use even after the games.
The Jos host is a major breakthrough for the Ministry of Tourism – with Jos being the city ranking highest in the Nigerian tourism potential index for ten consecutive years.
The games will also afford Nigeria the opportunity to showcase her science and technology innovations to a host of blue-chip companies, prospective investors and markets.
The Plateau state governor, while affirming that the host is the greatest thing to happen to Jos, also noted that the peace which the state has enjoyed for three decades have come to stay. He said “This is what happens when we decide to look beyond our differences. Jos “indigenes” had to let go of some lands while the citizens we called “settlers” had to do the same. Thankfully, nomadic farming is now illegal; so, no room for quarrels again. Besides, walking thousands of miles is now obsolete among cattle rearers in Nigeria – especially with the new on-the-field nomadic technology invented by Bala Abdulahi of Federal University of Technology, Minna - which almost all cattle rearers now use.”
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